US & Canada

Milo Yiannopoulos quits Breitbart News

Milo Yiannopoulos Image copyright AP

A senior editor at a conservative website has resigned and apologised after a furore over comments that appeared to condone paedophilia.

Milo Yiannopoulos said in a statement his "poor choice of words" was detracting from his colleagues' work, so he was quitting immediately.

He had already lost a book deal and a speaking engagement over the row.

Videos surfaced of him discussing the merits of gay relationships between adults and boys.

But Mr Yiannopoulos, the tech editor, denied he had endorsed child abuse and said one video had been edited to give a misleading impression.

"I would like to restate my utter disgust at adults who sexually abuse minors," the 32-year-old wrote in his resignation statement on Facebook on Tuesday.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A speech in California was cancelled amid protests

At a press conference on Tuesday, he explained that he had been referring to his own experiences as a victim of child sexual abuse.

He said that two men, including a priest, had touched him inappropriately when he was in his young teens.

"I haven't ever apologised before, and I don't intend on ever doing it again," the hero of the so-called alt-right movement read to a room full of reporters.

"To be a victim of child abuse and at the same time be accused of being an apologist for child abuse is absurd."

But the mea culpa came too late to save him from being axed in the line-up at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland.

The organising group, the American Conservative Union, said his response had been "insufficient".

Media caption'Alt-right is unstoppable,' says Milo Yiannopoulos

Publisher Simon & Schuster also cancelled his forthcoming book, Dangerous.

During his press conference he claimed to have received interest from other publishers, and vowed to set aside 10% of the book's profits to donate to charities that support victims of child sex abuse.

The British writer appears to thrive on controversy and is accused by some of being a peddler of hate speech.

Mr Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter after provoking online harassment of a black actress, Leslie Jones, from the Ghostbusters remake.

He has also been widely criticised for comments he has made about feminists, transgender people, Muslims and Black Lives Matter protesters.

The University of Berkeley in California earlier this month cancelled a talk by Mr Yiannopoulos, following violent protests.

Former Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon, now a key White House adviser, hired Mr Yiannopoulos three years ago.

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